Sitting in our creaking ship, our warriors only became more anxious to begin the raid on the nearby village. The captain began barking orders at us to get geared up; we all needed our helms, shields, and weapons ready. The berserkers were in the back of the ship getting high on their mushrooms so they would be in a full frenzy when we hit the shallows of the coast.
The man to my side was large and burley, the perfect example of what all of us Norsemen strived to resemble, and most of us were. I wore a bear’s hide on my back, a wolf’s head as a cap, an axe on my side, and my sword and shield in hand; I was two-hundred pounds of your worst nightmare come to life.
The ship hit the shallows, and the berserkers were already vaulting off of the sides of the vessel. A few of them leapt too soon, or too near the rear of our vessel, and were vexed in the waves until they drowned themselves.
It was a full moon that tonight, but the clouds and fog were thick, so it seemed the perfect weather; the light from the moon made it even harder to see through the fog, it would be the ideal cloak for our raid. It was at that point it began to rain, the men on our ship seemed to only get more eager than before; the thought that the raid would go off without error seemed to lighten their moods. All of us prayed that Odin would be on our side that today. We needed victory if for nothing else but to feed our families; our sons, daughters, wives, parents… They were all counting on our conquest.
Just then, the captain ordered evacuation of the ship, it was time to initiate the true battle. We struck the icy water and kept up our charge, every man we had stormed the shoreline. We made our charge up into the village, emanating the loudest roars we could muster, all for the possibility that we would make a few of them flee in fear, and many more shake from fright. Though when we reached the town square, we realized we were surrounded by the townsfolk, all of them armed, some had pitchforks, others hoes, a few with axes, and a noticeable minority less of them were guards, wearing armor, wielding swords, and carrying shields.
There was good news for our men though, we could see the fear in our victims’ eyes, and notice their trembling fingers. These men before us were not seasoned veterans or even warriors, we knew much more of battle then they could ever imagine. Our clan charged straight into their ranks, swinging our weapons into their flesh. The sound of their bones breaking under our swords was enough to make me smile and even laugh. They had surprised us, but we would claim victory nevertheless; we would slay all who stood against us.
I heard the screams of their dying, and felt their warm blood on my face as I impaled another man with my sword. As he fell dead, another came up to meet me in battle, his sword tore through my shield, and almost into my arm. I thrust my sword into his face. It was then that I discarded my shield and seized my axe.
I charged yet another man, sword in my right hand, and axe in the left. As my axe burst into his skull, a villager shot me in the back with an arrow. I twisted around to find him standing above one of my fallen comrades wielding his bow, and using his arrows. Infuriated I charged him, not because he killed a fellow warrior, nor for this man salvaging his equipment, but because it was the heat of battle, and he failed to slay me. His only chance for survival at this moment was for me to fall dead. He let another arrow launch; it struck me in the arm. When I got within paces of him, he dropped the bow, picked up my fallen brother’s double axe, lifted it over his head and swung it down upon me. I attempted to prevent the blow by raising my weapons in a defensive maneuver, but I was too late. The axe had served my left arm through my shoulder. I ran my blade through the man’s belly. As the man fell to the ground, another man crept up behind me and skewered me at the base of the neck with a pitchfork, at this moment I realized that I would soon be in Valhalla.
I died there with a grin on my face, and gazed over to see the Valkyries coming to accompany me to the great golden halls of Valaskjalf in Asgard, where I would be with my slain brothers drinking mead, eating meat, fighting without fear of pain nor death, training until at last we are ready for the final battle at Ragnorok. I was finally ready for an eternity of pleasure and violence; a Viking’s paradise.
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